Students and other Boulderites tired of paying Whole Foods prices for basic necessities may have actually caught a break here. While struggling to find decent work to meet ever increasing financial obligations such as rising tuition, rent, gas, electricity, and health care costs, they may actually have an opportunity to save some money: Walmart is opening a grocery store on the Diagonal. Save money. Live better. Starting at a date TBD in October.
On top of that, somehow Walmart even produced a 30-second commercial for their meat counter on the grounds of the University of Colorado. In this clever spot, a hidden camera captures the reaction of Buffs tailgaters as they are told that the delicious steaks that they are eating actually come from Walmart.
While the “haves,” perched in their million dollar homes or firmly ensconced in their tenured government-job-for-life faculty positions may make a lot of noise about this development, the new Walmart parking lot likely will be packed on a daily basis. And, when the call goes out for jobs, potential new employees will be lined up around the store.
The hypocrisy of Walmart detractors is actually quite astounding. They love the false narrative that Walmart underpays its workers, ignoring the fact that people elect to work at Walmart under their own free will, collect a decent starting wage, earn healthcare benefits, and have significant opportunities for advancement within a global enterprise.
The average starting wage at the Boulder Walmart will be $13.75 per hour. Moreover, Walmart workers in Boulder will earn higher wages than their retail peers at the Apple Store. Why no left-wing backlash against that company? Perhaps Cupertino is a cooler address than Bentonville, Arkansas. Maybe Walmart does not make enough donations to “progressive” causes.
The fact of the matter is that by providing useful household products at very low prices, Walmart has already done more for poor people (and struggling students) in American than Apple ever will. In a free market, greater choice always works out better for the consumer, and it’s about time that people in Boulder have the choice of going to Walmart to save a few bucks, without driving half way to Denver.